Trump has 'no intention' of releasing his tax returns, despite clamour

Wil Longbottom, News Reporter

President Donald Trump "has no intention" of releasing his tax returns to the public, the US treasury secretary has said.

Mr Trump has repeatedly refused to make his past returns public, breaking a decades-long tradition adhered to by his predecessors in the White House.

He has claimed the decision is because his taxes are being audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Steve Mnuchin, treasury secretary, made the claim during a news conference on the President's new proposed tax plan on Wednesday.

He said: "The president has released plenty of information and I think has given more financial disclosure than anybody else.

"I think the American population has plenty of information."

It comes as Mr Trump proposed slashing the US tax rate on corporate tax from 35% to 15% as he looks to boost economic growth and bring jobs to America.

:: Trump administration proposes corporate tax cuts of 20%

Mr Trump also wants to reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to three, double the standard deduction that Americans can claim on their tax returns and repeal the estate tax and alternative minimum tax.

Under those proposals, Mr Trump's family would stand to save significantly in future years. Mr Mnuchin declined to comment on any potential conflict of interest the changes could raise.

Under US law, only Congress can make major tax law changes.

A petition launched in January calling for Mr Trump's full tax returns to be released received more than one million signatures, meaning the White House has to make a formal response to it.

The wording of the petition read: "The unprecedented economic conflicts of this administration need to be visible to the American people, including any pertinent documentation which can reveal the foreign influences and financial interests which may put Donald Trump in conflict with the emoluments clause of the Constitution."

Protests have taken place across the US asking for the returns to be published, but earlier this month Mr Trump claimed those taking part had been "paid" to do so.

Mr Trump's tax returns dating from 2005 were leaked last month, and revealed he had paid $36.5 or roughly 25% on the $153m he earned that year.

That figure is well above the 10% rate the average American taxpayer is faced with, but below the average of 27.4% of those earning more than $1m a year.

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